What is a Sleep Doctor?

If you have difficulties falling asleep or feel exhausted during the day, your doctor could recommend seeing a sleep expert. They can determine the cause of your sleep problem and find ways to help you get restful sleep.

There are many types of sleep doctors, ranging from specialists in internal medicine to pulmonologists (lung experts) and psychiatrists. They all receive special training to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.


Pulmonologists specialize in the lungs, airways, and respiratory muscles. They treat various lung disorders, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and sleep apnea.

They also work with other medical specialists, like sleep doctor Austin TX on treatment plans for these conditions. These specialists include primary care doctors, pulmonologists, and other respiratory system specialists such as respiratory therapists and rehab programs.

Some pulmonologists work in research institutions to help develop new treatments for lung diseases. Others may work in teaching hospitals, teaching medical students, residents, and fellows about respiratory health and disease prevention.

Pulmonologists often treat patients in the hospital, such as those with severe breathing problems or a blood clot that has blocked an artery in the lung (pulmonary embolism). They can also manage and coordinate medical intensive care units where they provide life-saving and complex interventional care to critically ill patients. They can also direct and perform procedures, such as lobectomies and lung transplants, in conjunction with thoracic surgeons.


Psychiatrists are medical professionals who focus on identifying and treating disorders of the mind. They work with people with issues ranging from sudden and acute problems, such as panic attacks or hallucinations, to more long-term, chronic diseases that affect their ability to live a whole life.

Depending on the type of diagnosis and the patient’s age, psychiatrists may use psychotherapy or medication to treat mental disorders. Psychiatrists can also help people find resources to manage their symptoms.

As trained physicians, psychiatrists can perform various physical and psychological tests to evaluate a patient’s mental state. These examinations are called mental status exams, and they provide a clear picture of the patient’s mental health.

Psychiatrists go through extensive training before they can become board-certified in their field. First, they must complete medical school and a residency program and undergo continuing education to stay current with the latest research and treatment methods. They must also pass an exam to earn a medical license.


Otolaryngologists specialize in the ear, nose, throat, and related areas of the head and neck. They provide medical and surgical care to patients with various issues.

These physicians treat diseases and disorders that affect the ears, sinuses, nose, mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (mouth), throat, thyroid, salivary glands, bronchial tubes, and esophagus. They also perform cosmetic and reconstructive head, neck, and face surgery.

Otolaryngologists are uniquely trained in treating hearing loss, ear infections, vertigo, dizziness, cranial nerve disorders, and congenital auditory abnormalities. They also manage otitis media and chronic sinusitis. They can also place tubes through the eardrum to drain fluid and help with middle ear infections.

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